(Reuters) – Poom Saksansin maintained his three-shot lead to inch closer to a second Indonesia Masters triumph while Justin Rose remained on course to become world number one even after the Briton’s title defence appeared over on Saturday.
Golf – European Tour – British Masters – Walton Heath Golf Club, Walton-on-the-Hill, Britain – October 14, 2018 England’s Justin Rose during the final round Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
The 25-year-old Poom held on to his overnight lead as he followed his second round 63 with a two-under-par 70, which included three birdies as against a bogey on the fifth hole.
His 54-hole aggregate of 16-under-par 200 puts him in the pole position for a second title, having triumphed at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club two years ago.
“I think it’s good enough that I am playing with Henrik Stenson tomorrow,” Poom said of his idol.
“I am happy to be able to play with him again. He gave me an autographed shirt earlier this year when we met in Malaysia and I still keep that properly at home.”
Poom, together with his team mate Sunghoon Kang of South Korea, upset Stenson and Alexander Levy 5&4 in the opening fourball match of the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia in January.
Stenson carded 68, the lowest score on a wind-swept day when only 12 players broke par, and vowed not to go soft at the Thai on Sunday.
“Not at all, if I have a chance,” said the Swede who sank five birdies, including a hat-trick of them in his front nine, to lie three shots ahead of Thai Jazz Janewattananond (69).
“We will see if he can go easy on the old guy instead… I know he is a very capable player and he has shown that for the first three days,” he said after the penultimate round of Asian Tour’s season-ending event.
After two rounds of 68, Rose birdied the final hole to sign for a one-under 71 and drop further behind in the title race.
The 38-year-old Olympic champion would need a top 12 finish to replace Brooks Koepka at the top of the rankings.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Sudipto Ganguly